University Teaching Council Awards Grant to Assistant Communication Studies Professor to Review Software Applications
Kent State University’s University Teaching Council (UTC) awarded Aaron Bacue, an assistant professor in the School of Communication Studies (COMM), a 10-week Summer Teaching Development Grant (STDG) to test two software applications aimed at improving student-learning outcomes in COMM’s basic communication course, Introduction to Human Communication (COMM15000). Bacue served as the interim basic course director from August 2017 to May 2018.
Research shows that when students receive constructive qualitative feedback prior to the final presentation of their speeches, the quality of both their content and delivery improves significantly. However, due to time and space constraints, instructors currently are not able to provide constructive criticism of students’ speech delivery before they present in class.
Bacue’s review of the two software applications will determine if another option to gaining this valuable evaluation is available.
Option one is PitchVantage. It will enable students to receive feedback on the quality of their delivery during rehearsals of their speeches so that they can adapt and improve prior to their final presentations. In contrast, the second software application, GoReact, will enable instructors to provide students with meticulous, personalized qualitative feedback during their final presentations in class.
Bacue will use PitchVantage and GoReact in COMM15000 classes for Summer I, Summer II and Summer III to access their impacts on student public speaking skills, as well as evaluate their usability for both students and instructors. Bacue will determine if the inclusion of PitchVantage and/or GoReact in the curriculum of COMM15000 will improve student learning outcomes and public speaking skills to maximize success both in and outside of the classroom.
In support of excellence in education at Kent State University, UTC calls for proposals to the STDG program. This program is intended to enhance student learning by engaging faculty to significantly improve teaching methods, develop curricula, or create innovative course materials. For more information about the Kent State University STDG program, visit https://www.kent.edu/utc/summer-teaching-development-grants.